Automated Markets and Willmott Dixon, UK’s leading independent constructor, are embarking on a 12 month collaborative effort to explore the potential capabilities of blockchain to make a step change in the sector’s ability to deliver safe, compliant and quality-assured buildings. Since the Grenfell Tower fire and Hackitt Review, these issues have risen up the corporate and legislative agendas but not translated into co-ordinated action across the construction sector. The aim of this collaboration is to set the groundwork for an industry-wide change to the way information about goods, works and services is handled.
Its large, complex supply chain makes tracing construction activities difficult. Once a project is designed and a build order is placed with a Tier 1 Constructor, such as Willmott Dixon, the order is fulfilled by a deep supply chain of specialist subcontractors before being handed back to the commissioning consumer. Each participant in this complex system tracks only their small segment of the journey, and each uses its own system to log data. This means that information about construction activities is fragmented.
Blockchain technology brings all the parties in the construction supply chain together, simplifying the exchange and tracking of information and payments, and enabling greater trust. It creates a permanent digitised chain of transactions that cannot be altered. Each network participant has an exact copy of the data, and additions to the blockchain are shared throughout the network based on each participant's level of permission. Customers, tier 1 constructors, sub-contractors and building control can interact more efficiently using comprehensive, near real-time access to this data.
“The potential of blockchain to make a big impact on the construction sector has long been known. What is new here is that we are working on a practical, real-world use case with Willmott Dixon and their Supply Chain Partners to put information about goods, works and services on the blockchain,” said Sam Gamble, Automated Markets CEO.
Willmott Dixon will have access to Automated Market’s Blockchain Strategy Practice and will leverage Automated Market’s existing industrial research in blockchain and secure off-chain data storage.